Good results for both La Liga sides in their first leg ties on Thursday, and an all Spanish final in both the Champions League and the Europa League is now a strong possibility! Villarreal appeared to be heading for a scoreless draw against Liverpool until Adrián López got on the end of a Denis Suárez assist to make it 1-0 in injury time. And defending champions Sevilla came away from Shakhtar Donetsk with a 2-2 draw, Gameiro saving the day with a late penalty after first half strikes from Marlos and Stepanenko had overturned Vitolo’s opener. (28.04.16)
An injury time strike from Adrián López gave Villarreal a one goal advantage over Liverpool going in to next week’s second leg! Both teams had chances early on, Joe Allen testing Asenjo and Coutinho firing a shot over the top, and Soldado firing a couple of shots wide, and Mignolet saving from Tomás Pina. Bakambu headed against the post after the restart, and Firmino responded with a shot which Asenjo pushed on to the upright. In the last five minutes or so Mignolet had to keep out Bakambu, and Alberto Moreno fired a shot wide on a quick breakaway. But with a draw seemingly on the cards, Denis Suárez pulled down a long pass from Bruno and slipped the ball across for Adrián to score in to an empty net. Still a lot to do in Anfield next week, but Villarreal are a step closer to a first ever European final.
Defending champions Sevilla are looking good for a third Europa League final in a row after they came away from Shakhtar Donetsk with a 2-2 draw. Vitolo gave the Andalusians an early lead, firing a shot under the legs of Pyatov in the sixth minute after Gameiro put him through. However by half time they were behind, Marlos controlling a Rakitskiy pass to beat David Soria, and then crossing in for Stepanek to head the second for the locals. Pyatov had to save from Carriço soon after the restart, and Gameiro had a strike disallowed for a borderline offside before firing two good chances over the top. However with ten minutes to go Ferreyra tripped Vitolo in the area, and Gameiro stepped p to fire home the resulting spot kick. A great result for Emery’s side to take in to next week’s second leg, although the coach will be without Krohn-Dehli for that match after he picked up a horrendous knee injury later on.